Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Death of the Political Moderate?...

In the wake of John McCain’s lambasting this past November 4th, there have been, not astoundingly at all, calls from a disingenuous MSM that “The Republican Party should turn to its more Moderate-wing,” espousing social Liberals and fiscal Conservatives, like Christie Whitman.

But there is no such broad voter appeal for those views. In fact, John McCain was and ran as a Christie Whitman Republican, because HE IS and has ALWAYS BEEN a “Moderate-Republican!”

The political moderates lost badly in the elections of 2008. In fact, there are really very few, if ANY real political moderates. Most people who call themselves “moderates,” are people who don’t have any convictions at all.

How else can the triumph of Proposition 8 in California and similar measures in Missouri and Florida, as well as anti-race based preference Bills passing in two and depending upon the outcome in Colorado, maybe three more states, be explained, in the wake of John McCain’s election-day drubbing?

For Conservatives to take back government, they must (1) appeal to Conservatives with a bold Conservative message designed to both draw in more Conservative voters and alienate more moderate ones and (2) press for real tax reform (the Fair Tax or the Land Value Tax and true fiscal conservatism – trimming down the fed’s bloated bureaucracy.

Since 2006, the bulk of the Democrat’s gains have come from Conservative “Blue Dog” Democrats, which now comprise about a quarter of all Democrats in Congress!

These “Blue Dogs” are Conservatives best friends, even while they might be the GOP’s worst nightmare. Conservatives of both Parties have a very real stake in helping the Blue Dogs take back the Democratic Party.

After all, Liberalism hasn’t offered any “new ideas” in decades and the real ideological fault-line is now between Corporatist (pro-business, fiscally conservative) Republicans and small government, free market Libertarians.

Look at the ideas that Liberals, BOTH Democratic Leftists and so-called Republican “Moderates” support;

(1) A focus on rehabilitation over punishment for violent criminals. Bill Bratton cleaned up NYC by proving that punishing crime instead of excusing it was the answer.

(2) Banning violent self-defense by banning gun ownership for non-felons.

(3) Supporting increased and widespread use of Eminent Domain

(4) Supporting a more “Open Border” policy, one that would put a consistent DOWNWARD pressure on the wage floor.

(5) Supporting tax rates hikes even when they REDUCE tax revenues for “tax fairness.”

None of these are winning ideas.

So why should Conservatives seek to embrace them or THOSE who’ve embraced them?

As much as is the far-Left an anchor around the Democratic Party, the so-called “Moderate-wing” of the GOP serves only to increase that Party’s drag coefficient.

Why Far-Left Liberalism is an Emotional Disturbance

“Bush Sr. inherited eight years of Reagan’s ‘Indebt & Spend’ NeoCon (Men) tactic of governance...

“...We have most of the middle class deeply sobbing about the ultra rich and whether or not after they consume their lion’s share will they ‘trickle’ down their effluents on us.”
(Another generic Liberal)

Why do so many Liberals believe so many things that just aren’t true?

First off, there really was no “Reagan ‘Indebt & Spend,’ ” that over-spending belonged to the Tip O’Neill Congress.

Congress controls federal spending (ALL federal spending), Congress controls tax policy (ALL tax policy), as Congress controls the fed’s wallet.

The Tip O’Neill Congress DID spend over $2 for every $1 in tax cuts, but despite all that federal over-spending, the Misery Index was brought down, during Reagan’s tenure, FROM the Carter debacle high, which was also America’s post WW II high of 21, TO single digits by 1986.

Generally, income and capital gains rate hikes are tools used to SLOW down an overheated economy, as higher income and Cap Gains rate hikes DECREASE tax revenues and slow investment.

Arguing that tax rate hikes raise tax revenues is like arguing that when dropped, objects fall up.

When Clinton came into office, he came in at war with the Keynesian Foley Congress.

Clinton, a pro-Free Trade, pro-welfare reform, Supply-Sider came to cooperate as well with the Newt Gingrich Congress, as G W Bush has with the Pelosi-Reid Congress. After butting heads with Gingrich over deep federal budget cuts and a huge Capital Gains tax (FROM 30% down TO 20%), resulting in a brief federal shutdown in 1995, Clinton bought into more than 70% of Gingrich’s “Contract With America.” Those federal budget cuts, the first in numerous decades, were primarily responsible for the budget surpluses of the late 1990s and they delivered some of the LOWEST Misery Indexes in over four decades – 1998’s 6.05 Misery Index was the lowest since 1956.

The Gingrich Revolution, which created not only one of the best economies in decades, but the only budget surpluses in almost half a century proved conclusively that Supply Side policies work, just as surely as the Carter debacle proved that Keynesian policies don’t.

Moreover, the “Corporate Media” is NOT on the Right – when Americans talk of the “Corporate Media,” it’s ABC, owned by the Disney Corporation, it’s CBS, which was owned by Westinghouse for over a quarter century, now parented by Viacom and it’s NBC owned by General Electric - THAT’S the “Corporate Media.”

It’s only LOGICAL for Corporations to advocate for socialism, they are the primary beneficiaries of “freezing the game in place,” by protecting existing, established enterprises from competition from new companies and newer ideas, no matter how bloated, inefficient and unresponsive to consumer demand these enterprises become.

As for individuals, like you and I – the natural state of all men is LIBERTY – NOT the license to “do whatever we want, so long as we don’t harm others,” BUT Liberty – complete self-ownership and the full responsibility that comes with it.

Liberty offers no special benefits to anyone and only the most disingenuous among us would argue that “Individual Liberty primarily benefits those who are better educated, who own property and are born well-off,” because it actually benefits the clever, far more than it does those who are merely intelligent or “book bright.”

Bottom-line, America’s Founding design, rooted in private property rights and individual Liberty is the best possible garden in which to cultivate free (self-owning), productive and prosperous individuals.

The Top 10% of American Income Earners Already Pay MORE Than Their "Fair Share"...

...Right now, in the year 2008, the top 10% of American income earners pay MORE than "their fair share" of income taxes.

Not only that, but the bottom 50% of American income earners pay LESS than theirs!

The top 10% of income earners pay (beginning at $108.904/year, family income) pay 70.79% of the income taxes NOW! That’s up about 2% SINCE the Bush-43 across the board tax cuts.

Moreover, the top 10% of U.S. income earners account for just 47.3% of the total adjusted gross income (AGI)!

By comparison, the bottom 50% of U.S. income earners, while accounting for 12.51% of the AGI and pay just under 3% (2.99%) of the income taxes!

Bottom tier spending DOES NOT create businesses and generate investment income, or create new jobs.

Moreover, when the private sector catches cold, the public sector winds up on its back. Major Municipalities are looking at layoffs (Philadelphia is in the midst of serious public sector layoffs, New York is looking at a staggering $4 BILLION deficit next fiscal year. So, as private sector generated tax revenues fall, one of the few benefits is that the public sector is often forced to CUT BACK!

Unfortunately, those cut backs merely expand the economic pain and spread it out.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Why the Command (Government-run) Economy DOESN'T Work...

A friend, Pela, from Sweden recently noted, "The state owned postal office has decided to "be more effective" here; which means that I will get my mail two hours later." (Pela)
To which, I responded, “Oh yeah! That's called "increased efficiency" in government speak.

“The reason for that?

“Well, the government is worker-centric, as opposed to the market, which is consumer-centric.

“When you put the focus on the consumer, your goals tend to be delivering the highest quality at the lowest price for all....when you put the focus on the worker, you tend to get deliver the least amount of work/productivity for the highest pay/price.

“That's why the government-run economy DOESN'T work - it consistently delivers fewer goods and services, at lower and lower quality and at higher and higher prices.

“That’s why the customer really IS always right...while the worker, rarely is.”

Need PROOF that this is right?

Look no further the average annual Misery Indexes of the most recent Keynesian and Supply Side periods;

Misery Indexes: The Keynesian Years (1970 – 1980) Vs. Supply Side Years (1995 – 2006)

LBJ, like G W Bush, found himself involved in an increasingly unpopular, while over-burdening the domestic economy with all kinds of Keynesian (Big-government social spending). Ironically enough, the height of Keynesianism came during the Republican administration of Richard M. Nixon, with the closing of the gold window, wage and price controls and numerous other Keynesian programs. The U.S. continued on with a Keynesian path until the economy imploded under Jimmy Carter.

Looking back at some of those incredibly high Misery Indexes, especially through a prism of fifteen straight years of single digit Misery Indexes, it seems doubtful that America would accept that kind of economy today.

1970: 10.82
1971: 10.25
1973: 11.02
1975: 17.68
1979: 17.07
1980: 20.76
1970 – 1981 = 14.2

While Ronald Reagan ushered in the Supply Side era, by replacing Paul Volcker with Alan Greenspan, a Democratic House still spent $2 for every $1 they cut back in taxes. Reagan’s successor, George Bush-41, moved away from strict Supply Side tenets and cooperated with Ted Kennedy in breaking his “Read my lips, no new taxes,” pledge. As a result, Bush-41 was only the second post-WW II American President to preside over four straight years of double digit Misery Indexes. It wasn’t until 1995 that the Supply Siders, with Newt Gingrich, took over Congress and, in the process, cut federal spending, along with the Capital Gains rate to deliver some of the lowest Misery Indexes in over four decades, along with the first budget surpluses in decades.

Since Speaker Gingrich left Congress, Congressional Republicans largely abandoned Gingrich’s small government policies and America has turned slowly and inexorably back toward Keynesianism over G W Bush’s tenure.
Still, due to the Supply Side across the board tax rate cuts early in G W Bush’s first term, the increased tax revenues from those cuts masked many of the spending increases incurred during the Bush administration.

The Misery Indexes over this largely Supply Side period were;

1995: 8.40
1996: 8.34
1997: 7.28
1998: 6.05
1999: 6.41
2000: 7.35
2001: 7.59
2002: 7.37
2003: 8.26
2004: 8.21
2005: 8.48
2006: 7.87

1995 – 2006 = 7.6

This pretty much says it all!

As you can see, if you take the most recent Keynesian period and compare it to the most recent Supply Side period, the differences are stark. The Keynesian period had an average annual Misery Index of 14.2, while the Supply Side period had a Misery Index nearly half that – 7.6!

How come the past two years have been so bad?

Why has the Misery Index creeped upwards since 2003?

The post-Gingrich Republican Congress abandoned the small government, low tax principles that Gingrich used to deliver some of the lowest Misery Indexes in over four decades!

G W Bush’s ONLY Supply Side action was his across the board tax cuts early on in his administration. Along with that he embarked on one of the largest federal spending programs in history!

The NCLB Act, the prescription drug boondoggle, the massive Homeland Security apparatus that sucked in huge amounts of federal spending all helped to increase government spending and balloon the national debt, although NONE of those nearly as much as his signing onto last spring’s “stimulus package and the current bank bailout!

The Bush administration has spend like Keynesians and were fortunate that the across the board tax cuts increased tax revenues to such an extent that until 2006, they’d actually halved the deficit over the previous three years!

The credit crisis itself was caused by over-regulation – the re-tooled or turbo-charged CRA (Community Reinvestment Act) that actually forced banks to make subprime loans to high-risk borrowers. In 1994 Barack Obama helped Calvin Robeson (an ACORN volunteer) sue CitiBank in Chicago for “not making enough subprime loans available to poor and low income borrowers.

That lawsuit against CitiBank was won and that’s because the turbo-charged CRA did exactly what I just said it did – forced banks to make subprime loans available to high-risk borrowers. This “creating credit out of thin air” (or “credit socialism”, as I call it) is as dangerous as to allow banks to simply print U.S. currency in their back rooms, thereby inflating the money supply and devaluing the currency.

That’s what this “credit-creation” did, it hyper-inflated the real estate market.

At any rate, the irony is that a heavily Liberal, Democratic media, with few people at all versed in economics, reported the credit crisis as a “failure of de-regulation,” when in FACT, it was exactly the reverse!

As a result, we’ve turned toward some of the people most responsible for the current crisis (Barack Obama, Barney Frank and Chris Dodd) for relief from the problem they helped create!

We’re about to embark on MORE regulation, MORE government spending, MORE misguided government intervention and HIGHER taxes, when the credit crisis we’re reeling from was CAUSED BY over-regulation, outrageous government spending, misguided government intervention and the ONLY thing that had helped stabilize the economy previous to 2008 was the INCREASED tax revenues that resulted from those across the board tax cuts!

How important successful have Supply Side policies been?

Well, when Ronald Reagan took office, and helped a GOP Senate usher in the Supply Side era, the Misery Index dropped from America’s post-WW II high of 20.7, in Carter’s last year, to 17.97 in 1981, Reagan’s first! Those Misery Indexes continued downward each year to a low of 8.91 in 1986 and they stayed under double digits for the remainder of the Reagan administration’s tenure.

That makes it all the more remarkable that when George Bush Sr. flirted with Keynesian Democrats, like Ted Kennedy, the Misery Index rose to double digits AGAIN! In fact, Bush-41 became only the second post-WW II American President to preside over four straight years of double digit Misery Indexes.

But the heart of each era makes the case even more starkly.

There were two periods that marked the heart of the most recent Supply Side period and the most recent Keynesian period.

The “Gingrich years,” marked the most recent Supply Side period and that period would certainly include 2001, G W Bush’s first year, in which he outlined a very Supply Side (tax-cutting) agenda.

The period from 1974, the end of the Nixon administration (during which Nixon infamously intoned, “We are all Keynesians now”) through the end of the Carter administration, the last dedicated Keynesian administration, which served along with a decidedly Liberal-Democratic (Keynesian) Congress that America suffered under.

The difference in the Misery Indexes those periods delivered is astounding;

The prime Supply Side years:

1995: 8.40
1996: 8.34
1997: 7.28
1998: 6.05 *(LOWEST Misery Index since 1956)
1999: 6.41
2000: 7.35

SEVEN YEAR Supply-Side AVERAGE ANNUAL Misery Index = 7.34

The prime Keynesian years:

1974: 16.67
1975: 17.68
1976: 13.45
1977: 13.55
1978: 13.69
1979: 17.07
1980: 20.76

SEVEN YEAR Keynesian AVERAGE ANNUAL Misery Index = 16.12

With the second straight year of our new Keynesian age, 2008's, Misery Index creeping toward double digits (it looks certain to top 10.0 by year's end, the above results from these periods could very well give us a prelude as to where we seem to be heading, economically.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Economic Illiteracy Has Benefitted Keynesian Liberalism

A lack of understanding basic economics has sullied Supply Side policies and benefitted the failed Keynesian policies of Jimmy Carter, still en vogue with man Liberal Democrats today. For that reason, we are in danger of killing the golden goose (low tax, Supply Side policies) that have delivered fifteen straight years of single-digit Misery Indexes!

Today just supporting Free Trade (like Rahm Emanuel and the incoming Obama administration do), welfare reform (like Emanuel and the incoming Obama administration do) can earn you the scorn and derision of misinformed, so-called Liberals, like those at the Daily Kos and MoveOn. In fact, you can’t be a “true Liberal,” in those folk’s eyes, if you don't hate!

Now, I’ve never believed in the idea of "building an economy from the ground up," at least not in terms of seeking to artificially increase the spending power of those in the lower 50% of income earners, by increasing costs/taxes, etc. on those in the top 10% to 20% of income earners.

Lowering the Capital Gains rate, slashing the corporate tax rate and making it easier for small businesses to start up, without the anchor of government hung around their necks, would, in my view, be the best way to "build the economy from the ground up" - by rewarding those with the entrepreneurial drive, the ambition and the ability to start and successfully run small businesses.

One of the ironies is that the current massive economic problem (the current credit crisis) was caused by over-regulation - primarily the turbo-charged CRA. The irony that a severe economic crisis born of over-regulation and TOXIC regulation (the turbo-charged CRA) has been used to move us further down a path of MORE regulation and MORE failed Keynesian policies is as tragic as it is dangerous.

Like I said, I'll let the Misery Index tell the story going forward.

We've been on a Keynesian course since at least 2007 and the fact that the current Bush admin has willingly cooperated with Keynesian Dems like Pelosi and Reid doesn't change the fact that "Keynesianism is a Liberal disease."

The Misery Index for 2007 was 7.45 (there was little impact from the few Keynesian policies passed late that year and the enhanced revenues from the earlier tax cuts covered Bush's other expenses), but it's probably going to top 10% for 2008 (it’s at 9.98 through September of 2008 and it doesn’t seem to be getting better), and there's little reason to believe that Keynesian policies, going forward, won't lead to what they did the last time we employed them - a 16.5 average annual Misery Index over four years.

The people most betrayed by all this have been the Libertarians. Many Libertarians initially embraced the Supply Side/Greenspan-led GOP, with some severe reservations over the socially repressive Christian Right, in the wake of the Carter years delivering the REAL "worst economy since the Great Depression."

Sadly, the Moderate-wing of the GOP has consistently abandoned Supply Side policies. In fact, since Carter, the ONLY administrations to buck the Keynesian trend were both Bush-41 and Bush-43.

Bush Sr. (41) came into office attempting to throw his better, Ronald Reagan under the proverbial bus.

That was right before Bush-41 shit the bed and delivered "the SECOND WORST economy since the Great Depression" - four straight years of double digit Misery Indexes, though much lower than Carter's, at a comparatively measly 10.5 average annual Misery Index over four years.
Bush-41 delivered that economy, in part by cooperating with Keynesian dinosaurs like Ted Kennedy to undermine his own "Read my lips," pledge.

Clinton came in as a Centrist Supply Sider, re-appointing Alan Greenspan, upping the H-1B Visa limits TWICE, embracing Free Trade and cooperating (after some early conflict - the government shutdown of '95) with the Gingrich Congress on deep federal budget cuts, welfare reform, a Cap Gains rate cut, etc.

Bush-43 governed with a Supply Side tax policy during his first term (although, even with a GOP Congress, the AMT was never scuttled), with his across the board income tax rate cuts and another Cap gains rate cut, which INCREASED tax revenues in every year since!

Early on, the business scandals (Enron, Tyco, Worldcom, Adelphia, Arthur Anderson, etc) forced some Keynesian ham-handed) regulation (Sarbannes-Oxley) and after that the Bush-41 administration spiraled off that early Supply Side track, by piling gobs of social spending (the NCLB and prescription drug boondoggles) on top of the necessary war-time spending (Afghanistan, Iraq and the tens of billions spent on Homeland Security).

Recently, some economists have dangerously argued that some degree of Keynesian over-spending can be maintained, so long as tax revenues are maximized by things like keeping tax rates low, along with keeping commerce at a maximum.

Ironically neither Bush-41, nor Bush-43 much appreciated that, or at least, in G W's case, he seemed to overestimate the power of the increased revenues from those tax cuts. It is highly unlikely that a return to 1970s era policies can deliver anything other than 1970s era results.

For those holding to the Keynesian viewpoint, the Misery Index for 2008, which could be the first to top 10.0 since 1992, SHOULD be cause for some foreboding.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Failed Conservatism or Wishful Liberal Feeeling?

This election established that "conservatism" is a failed political ideology that has no place in the modern world. America has spoken and rejected that ridiculous ideology. (a generic Liberal)
OK, I’ll bite, looking at Tuesday’s results, I must agree, though I'm happy to see that the "NEW" Liberalism now opposes gay marriage, which went down to overwhelming defeat in Arizona (atoning for failing to do so in 2006), Nebraska and even California, of all places....even SF voted in favor of strictly defining marriage as "between 1 man and 1 woman...and three more states passed referendums banning race and gender preferences, which must now also be an established part of this "New Liberalism.”
Four of five Americans polled want a smaller, less intrusive government and lower taxes, even though almost 2 of 3 support the NSA surveillance programs (as does Obama)....all I can say is that I support all those positions...always have..

Now I see where Rahm Emanuel (a former IDF member) and a bona fide Conservative Democrat, who was responsible for recruiting scores of Blue Dog Democrats to run in 2006 and 2008 is now Barack Obama's Chief-of-Staff! Doesn't sound much like an olive branch to the Arab street, does it? It also seems to signal that Obama has aligned himself with those who've most outwardly opposed the Party's Left-wing )the Waxman's, the Conyer's and the Feingold's)...Has this "New Liberalism" moved to the Right, or have I moved Left???

Sadly, the biggest casualty in this election was the economic truth - the credit crisis was not a "bipartisan failure" (even though many Republicans DID help block the called for reforms and oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2003 and AGAIN in 2005). That crisis is almost entirely the fault of Rep. Frank, Senator Dodd, Franklin Raines, Tim Johnson, etc.

The MSM has been in the tank for Liberals for decades. An independent survey showed that ABC and CBS ran appx. 58% negative stories on McCain compared to 22% negative on Obama and 20% neutral stories, while far-Left MSNBC ran 78% negative on McCain and 13% negative on Obama and 9% neutral.

By comparison, the "hated FoxNews" reportedly ran 40% negative on McCain, 40% negative on Obama and 20% neutral.

Ironically enough, the MSM hasn't been able to convert many Americans - gay marriage again went down to defeat, even in CALIFORNIA, which went for Obama by 24 points! Race/gender-based preferences also barred on a number of ballot initiatives....PLEASE Liberals....PLEASE don't think that the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity "had more influence than the entire MSM." That's utter BS. The American people merely thought for themselves on those issues and voted their Center-Right predilections.

As for the economy, ironically enough, we've had a Democratic Congress since 2007 and they've moved the country onto a very definite Keynesian path.

The Spring "stimulus package," the recent "$700 BILLION bank bailout" and the 2007 SHAMnesty Bill were all Democratic creations, originating in Congress.

It's no coincidence that the economy has taken a nose dive since 2007.

The Misery Index will tell the story going forward. If 2009's Misery Index tops double digits and 2010's (when the last vestige of Supply Side policy, the Bush "across the board" income tax cuts expire) gets worse, then we'll be on a four year negative Keynesian track.

But we'll see.

Obama ran on a platform built on tax cuts, on supporting the NSA surveillance program and on gun rights...he even touted lowering the Corporate tax, which is really just a stealth sales tax, as its passed on to all of us, as consumers.

If he follows through on that agenda, I'll be fine with much, if not most of it.

Bottom-line, the Misery Index will tell the story on the economy over the next couple years.

Politics and Ideology....

In America, one of the interesting aspects of politics is how divorced from ideology it so often is.

Throughout most of the country, political affiliation, like religion is inherited. It often takes on the aspects of team sports, sort of athletics for non-athletes - the Red team versus the Blue team.

On Staten Island, where I grew up, politics is largely ethnic. The two major groups are Irish and Italian – the Irish are largely Democrats and the Italians mostly Republicans.

With an Italian mother and an Irish father, the ethnic team sports aspects of Staten Island politics has always been a little dicey for me.

Moreover, for any number of reasons, ideology has always been more vital to me than politics.

At an early age I was inculcated with an almost Catechismal adherence to individual liberty, private property rights and the ONLY economic system those things are most respected in – the market-based economy.

That has been the basis for my voting my entire life. I tend to oppose both fiscal and social Liberals and support Conservatives on most issues.

When polled most Americans tend to support most of the same positions that I do, four of five Americans want a smaller, less intrusive government and lower taxes, almost 2/3s (64%) support the NSA surveillance program, I’m even with the majority of Americans on the abortion issue – I’m WITH the 65% who support first trimester abortion and I’m also with the 65% of Americans who oppose late term abortion.

In a sense, I’m the quintessential “Center-Right American.”

It is that kind of electorate that had the Gingrich Congress assume control of Congress in January of 1995, with a very clear mandate from the American people. That mandate was outlined in Gingrich’s Contract With America.

That Congress shut down the federal government back in 1995 to force Bill Clinton to accept massive federal budget cuts and a Cap Gains rate cut...those things are what brought about some of the lowest Misery Indexes in history AND those significant budget surpluses of the late 1990s. The DeLay and Hastert Congresses abandoned Gingrich's principles and sullied the GOP in the process. They became just another set of pigs at the trough. As a result the neutered, pro-government GOP ceded Congress to the Democrats in the elections of 2006 , allowing the nation to lurch back onto a Keynesian course.

Since 2007 the economy has only gotten worse, which opened the door in 2008 for a Democratic take-back of the White House.

Interestingly enough, Barack Obama won election on November 4th, 2008 by running in favor of gun rights (the script of one famous Obama commercial went, “Barack Obama supports gun rights, our right to defend ourselves, the Second Amendment," the narrator says. "That's the truth."), tax cuts, the NSA surveillance program, pay-go to restore balanced budgets and a military surge in Afghanistan...on many issues, he was able to not only run to the Right of McCain, he made a better case for those things than McCain did.

In fact, Joe "the plumber" Wurzelbach made McCain's economic arguments better than McCain did...and THAT is the sorry state of affairs facing the Moderate (northeaster) wing of the Republican Party. They have the money, but few ideas and they resent the Conservative (Gingrich) wing that Party and have consistently and all too often, successfully been able to silence that wing.
How the relatively blank slate Obama will govern is anyone's guess, but his pick of a former Israeli Army member and Conservative Democrat, Rahm Emmanuel as Chief of Staff is interesting, to say the least. I'm willing to hope that President-elect Barack Obama will govern as he ran, as a Center-Right candidate and I'll let both our national security and the Misery Index tell the tale on that score.
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